Eurescom studies: Why and How?
Studies are an efficient and effective tool to raise a topic for discussion and bring it to the attention of decision- makers. The reason is simply that they are focused, can be set-up at short notice and they are short in duration meaning that their results are delivered after only a few months.
The typical "application area" for a study is where there is a requirement to explore new techniques or approaches, providing answers to questions like "what impacts will this have on our current operations …".
Studies are reported in a style appropriate for managers and decision-makers. They are intended to give a clear conclusion on what to do next followed by a short rationale that can be used as part of a business case. Studies help decision-makers to plan further actions, internal projects, external collaborations, etc.
In principal all areas where partners are willing to share information (according to well-defined IPR rules) are appropriate for collaborative studies. Within the Eurescom Studies Programme technical topics have always been in majority. In light of the plethora of new technologies and their potential applications in the wider area of telecommunications, such topics certainly will remain amongst the most popular for future Eurescom studies. In a competitive market there are, however, a number of techno-economic areas and topics where collaborative studies can be successful, such as on:
- Pre-studies for larger initiatives in specific areas
- Lowering the barriers for take up of existing and/or new services
- Reducing the cost of operation and interoperation
- Planning the profiling of (abstract) standards to workable/interoperable solutions
- Exploring new business models and areas
- Identifying disruptive events and technologies and assess their impacts on telecommunications network operators’ business
Studies comprise e.g. market issues, feasibility aspects, and if felt necessary also a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis. The relevance of each may vary from study to study. Studies could also in some cases benefit from containing elements of business case analysis. A study is scoped to produce results that have a value-add on its own.
Studies can serve the creation of a larger momentum around a topic of common interest. Several Eurescom studies of the past have demonstrated this, e.g. P1144 "The future CAMERA - Customers And Markets EURESCOM Research Activities", that helped scooping the user requirements areas where telecommunications network operators can take benefit from collaboration or Study P1145 "4G – the next frontier?" that bundled key ideas upfront the EC Framework Programme 6.
Studies can also serve the benchmarking of own ideas against others, they being competitors or belonging to other industry sectors.
The target group for studies are managers and decision-makers assisting them in planning further actions, internal projects or external collaborations. Therefore, a good way of scoping a study is to form the question, in a way similar to the way that managers and decision-makers do. Knowing their style helps in identifying the kind of results a study produces, which also decides on the experts and skills needed to carry it out.
Studies are performed by a small group of experts (< 5) during a short period (< 6 months) the topic for investigation is limited and clearly scoped. Each study has a well-defined goal, and which in general is measurable. The main goal of each study is very specific, defined in advance as the rational for doing the study and could for example be to:
- Satisfy a business information need on your organisation
- Provide a technical solution
- Describe a service opportunity
- Define a new project in FP7, or CELTIC
- Develop a position statement for regulators, or EU
- Develop a joint submission to a standardisation organisation
- Define an independent joint undertaking within the telecom community
Every Eurescom member subscribing to the Eurescom Study Programme has the opportunity to propose studies. A standard procedure has been developed using a Study Proposal Description template to capture the key issues necessary to assess and agree on a study.
Study proposals can be submitted at any time. However, to allow a certain synchronisation, the Eurescom staff issues two calls per annum; typically in November (for studies to start in February the following year), and in June (for studies to start in September). The current budget allows for approximately 8 studies per annum. This link will take you to a list of studies carried out in previous years.
How to join?
If you think that the Eurescom Study Programme is beneficial for your business evolution, that the Study Programme can add value to your R&D, and collaboration is an innovation instrument, you may consider joining the Eurescom Community and the Eurescom Study Programme. Information on how to join Eurescom and the Programme is available here. Please contact us!